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The Fiery Cross

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The Fiery Cross

    Contents Title Page Dedication Praise for Diana Gabaldon’s Outlander Novels Epigraph Acknowledgments Part One Chapter 1 Chapter 2 Chapter 3 Chapter 4 Chapter 5 Chapter 6 Chapter 7 Chapter 8 Chapter 9 Chapter 10 Chapter 11

    Chapter 12 Chapter 13 Chapter 14 Chapter 15 Chapter 16 Chapter 17 Part Two Chapter 18 Chapter 19 Chapter 20 Chapter 21 Chapter 22 Chapter 23 Chapter 24 Chapter 25 Part Three Chapter 26 Chapter 27 Chapter 28 Chapter 29 Chapter 30 Chapter 31 Chapter 32 Part Four Chapter 33 Chapter 34 Chapter 35 Chapter 36 Chapter 37 Chapter 38 Part Five Chapter 39 Chapter 40 Chapter 41 Chapter 42 Chapter 43 Chapter 44 Chapter 45 Chapter 46 Chapter 47 Chapter 48 Chapter 49

    Chapter 50 Chapter 51 Chapter 52 Chapter 53 Chapter 54 Chapter 55 Part Six Chapter 56 Chapter 57 Chapter 58 Chapter 59 Chapter 60 Chapter 61 Chapter 62 Chapter 63 Chapter 64 Chapter 65 Chapter 66 Chapter 67 Chapter 68 Chapter 69 Chapter 70 Chapter 71 Chapter 72 Part Seven Chapter 73 Chapter 74 Chapter 75 Chapter 76 Chapter 77 Chapter 78 Chapter 79 Chapter 80 Chapter 81 Chapter 82 Chapter 83 Chapter 84 Chapter 85 Chapter 86 Chapter 87 Chapter 88 Part Eight

    Chapter 89 Chapter 90 Chapter 91 Chapter 92 Chapter 93 Chapter 94 Chapter 95 Part Nine Chapter 96 Chapter 97 Chapter 98 Chapter 99 Chapter 100 Chapter 101 Chapter 102 Chapter 103 Chapter 104 Chapter 105 Chapter 106 Chapter 107 Chapter 108 Chapter 109 Chapter 110 Chapter 111 Also by Diana Gabaldon Excerpt from A Breath of Snow and Ashes Copyright Page

    This book is for my Sister, Theresa Gabaldon,with whom I told the first Stories. “Gabaldon is a born storyteller.”—Los Angeles Daily News

    PRAISE FOR DIANA GABALDON’SOUTLANDER NOVELS THE FIERY CROSS “INTRICATE AND FASCINATING.” —The Dallas Morning News “COMPLEX AND ENGROSSING . . . THE WRITING IS SUPERB—LUSH, EVOCATIVE, SENSUAL, WITH A WEALTH

    OF HISTORICAL DETAIL AND A GOOD DEAL OF HUMOR.” —Library Journal

“EXCITING AND INSIGHTFUL . . . LOADED WITHACTION . . . FANS OF THE SERIES WILL BE DELIGHTED

    WITH THIS NOVEL. . . .” —Midwest Book Review “AN ENTERTAINING AND SWEEPING SAGA OF HISTORY TOLD BY ONE OF AMERICA’S OUTSTANDING

    NOVELISTS.”

—Abilene Reporter-News

    “SPRAWLING . . . VIVID, INCREDIBLY DETAILED.”

    —Detroit Free Press

    Please turn the page for more extraordinary acclaim. . . .

    OUTLANDER

    “MARVELOUSLY ENTERTAINING . . . A PAGE-TURNER OF THE HIGHEST ORDER AND A GOOD READ FROM START

    TO FINISH.”

    —Chattanooga Times

    “ABSORBING AND HEARTWARMING . . . LAVISHLY EVOKES THE LAND AND LORE OF SCOTLAND.”

    —Publishers Weekly

    “HISTORY COMES DELICIOUSLY ALIVE ON THE PAGE.”

    —Daily News (N.Y.)

    DRAGONFLY IN AMBER

    “A TRIUMPH! A POWERFUL TALE LAYERED IN HISTORY AND MYTH. I LOVED EVERY PAGE.”

    —Nora Roberts

    “COMPULSIVELY READABLE.”

    —Publishers Weekly

    “DIANA GABALDON IS A BORN STORYTELLER. . . . THE PAGES PRACTICALLY TURN THEMSELVES.”

    —The Arizona Republic

    VOYAGER

    “TRIUMPHANT . . . HER USE OF HISTORICAL DETAIL AND A TRULY ADULT LOVE STORY CONFIRM GABALDONAS

    A SUPERIOR WRITER.”

    —Publishers Weekly

    “AN AMAZING READ.”

    —Arizona Tribune

    “MEMORABLE STORYTELLING.”

    —The Seattle Times

    DRUMS OF AUTUMN

“UNFORGETTABLE CHARACTERS . . . RICHLY EMBROIDERED WITH HISTORICAL DETAIL . . . I JUSTCAN’T

    PUT IT DOWN.”

    —The Cincinnati Post

“PASSIONATE . . . REMARKABLE—A MIX OF HISTORY, FANTASY, ROMANCE AND UNABASHEDLYRIBALD

    STORYTELLING.”

    —The Arizona Republic

“WONDERFUL . . . THIS IS ESCAPIST HISTORICALFICTION AT ITS BEST.”

    —San Antonio Express-News

    I have lived through war, and lost much. I know what’s worth the fight, and what is not.

    Honor and courage are matters of the bone, and what a man will kill for, he will sometimes die

    for, too.

    And that, O kinsman, is why a woman has broad hips; that bony basin will harbor a man and his

    child alike. A man’s life springs from his woman’s bones, and in her blood is his honor

    christened.

    For the sake of love alone, would I walk through fire again.

ACKNOWLEDGMENTS

    The author’s profound thanks to .?.?.

    .?.?.?my editor, Jackie Cantor, always the book’s champion above all.

    .?.?.?my agent, Russ Galen, who’s always on my side, with shield and lance.

    .?.?.?Stacey Sakal, Tom Leddy, and the other wonderful Production people who have sacrificedtheir time, talent, and mental health to the production of this book.

    .?.?.?Kathy Lord, that rarest and most delightful of creatures, an excellent copy editor.

    .?.?.?Virginia Norey, the book’s designer (aka Book Goddess), who somehow managed to fit the

    Whole Thing between two covers and make it look great.

    .?.?.?Irwyn Applebaum and Nita Taublib, publisher and deputy publisher, who came to the party,and brought their stuff.

    .?.?.?Rob Hunter and Rosemary Tolman, for unpublished information on the War of the Regulationand their very colorful and interesting ancestors, James Hunter and Hermon Husband. (No, I

    don’t make all these people up; just some of them.)

    .?.?.?Beth and Matthew Shope, and Liz Gaspar, for information on North Carolina Quaker historyand beliefs. (And we do note as a matter of strict accuracy that Hermon Husband was nottechnically a Quaker at the time of this story, having been put out of the local Meeting forbeing too inflammatory.)

    .?.?.?Bev LaFlamme, Carol Krenz, and their (respectively) French and French-Canadian husbands

    (who no doubt wonder just what sort of friends their wives have, anyway), for expert opinions

    on the subtleties of French bowel movements, and help with Very Picturesque French idioms.

    .?.?.?Julie Giroux, for Roger’s music, and the marvelous “Culloden Symphony.” Roy Williamsonfor “The Flower of Scotland” (words and music) copyright ? The Corries (music) Ltd.

    .?.?.?Roger H.P. Coleman, R.W. Odlin, Ron Parker, Ann Chapman, Dick Lodge, Olan Watkins, andmany members of the Compuserve Masonic Forum for information on Freemasonry and IrregularLodges, circa 1755 (which was a good bit prior to the establishment of the Scottish Rite, solet’s not bother writing me about that, shall we?)

    .?.?.?Karen Watson and Ron Parker, for advice on WWII London Tube Stations—with which Iproceeded to take minor technical liberties.

    .?.?.?Steven Lopata, Hall Elliott, Arnold Wagner, R.G. Schmidt, and Mike Jones, honorablewarriors all, for useful discussions of how men think and behave, before, during, and afterbattle.

    .?.?.?R.G. Schmidt and several other nice persons whose names I unfortunately forgot to writedown, who contributed bits and pieces of helpful information regarding Cherokee belief,language, and custom. (The bear-hunting chant ending with “Yoho!” is a matter of historicalrecord. There are lots of things I couldn’t make up if I tried.)

    .?.?.?the Chemodurow family, for generously allowing me to take liberties with their personae,in portraying them as Russian swineherds. (Russian boars really were imported into North

    Carolina for hunting in the18th century. This may have something to do with the popularity ofbarbecue in the South.)

    .?.?.?Laura Bailey, for invaluable advice and commentary on 18th century costume andcustoms—most of which I paid careful attention to.

    .?.?.?Susan Martin, Beth Shope, and Margaret Campbell, for expert opinions on the flora, fauna,geography, weather, and mental climate of North Carolina (and all of whom wish to note that

    only a barbarian would put tomatoes in barbecue sauce)

    . Aberrations in these aspects of the

    story are a result of inadvertence, literary license, and/or pigheadedness on the part of theauthor.

    .?.?.?Janet McConnaughey, Varda Amir-Orrel, Kim Laird, Elise Skidmore, Bill Williams, ArleneMcCrea, Lynne Sears Williams, Babs Whelton, Joyce McGowan, and the dozens of other kind andhelpful people of the Compuserve Writers Forum, who will answer any silly question at the dropof a hat, especially if it has anything to do with maiming, murder, disease, quilting, or sex.

    .?.?.?Dr. Ellen Mandell, for technical advice on how to hang someone, then cut his throat, andnot kill him in the process. Any errors in the execution of this advice are mine.

    .?.?.?Piper Fahrney, for his excellent descriptions of what it feels like to be taught to fightwith a sword.

    .?.?.?David Cheifetz, for dragon-slaying.

    .?.?.?Iain MacKinnon Taylor, for his invaluable help with Gaelic translations, and his lovelysuggestions for Jamie’s bonfire speech.

    .?.?.?Karl Hagen, for advice on Latin grammar, and to Barbara Schnell, for Latin and Germanbits, to say nothing of her stunning translations of the novels into German.

    .?.?.?Julie Weathers, my late father-in-law, Max Watkins, and Lucas, for help with the horses.

    .?.?.?the Ladies of Lallybroch, for their enthusiastic and continuing moral support, includingthe thoughtful international assortment of toilet paper.

    .?.?.?the several hundred people who have kindly and voluntarily sent me interestinginformation on everything from the development and uses of penicillin to the playing ofbodhrans, the distribution of red spruce, and the way possum tastes (I’m told it’s greasy, in

    .case you were wondering)

    .?.?.?and to my husband, Doug Watkins, for the last line of the book.

—Diana Gabaldonwww.dianagabaldon.com

    PART ONE

In Medias Res

1

HAPPY THE BRIDETHE SUN SHINES ON

Mount Helicon

    The Royal Colony of North CarolinaLate October, 1770

    I WOKE TO THE PATTER OF RAIN on canvas, with the feel of my first husband’s kiss on my lips.I blinked, disoriented, and by reflex put my fingers to my mouth. To keep the feeling, or tohide it? I wondered, even as I did so.

    Jamie stirred and murmured in his sleep next to me, his movement rousing a fresh wave of scentfrom the cedar branches under our bottom quilt. Perhaps the ghost’s passing had disturbed him.I frowned at the empty air outside our lean-to.

Go away, Frank, I thought sternly.

    It was still dark outside, but the mist that rose from the damp earth was a pearly gray; dawnwasn’t far off. Nothing stirred, inside or out, but I had the distinct sense of an ironicamusement that lay on my skin like the lightest of touches.

    Shouldn’t I come to see her married?

    I couldn’t tell whether the words had formed themselves in my thoughts, or whether they—andthat kiss—were merely the product of my own subconscious. I had fallen asleep with my mindstill busy with wedding preparations; little wonder that I should wake from dreams of weddings.And wedding nights.

    I smoothed the rumpled muslin of my shift, uneasily aware that it was rucked up around my waistand that my skin was flushed with more than sleep. I didn’t remember anything concrete aboutthe dream that had wakened me; only a confused jumble of image and sensation. I thought perhapsthat was a good thing.

    I turned over on the rustling branches, nudging close to Jamie. He was warm and smelledpleasantly of woodsmoke and whisky, with a faint tang of sleepy maleness under it, like thedeep note of a lingering chord. I stretched myself, very slowly, arching my back so that mypelvis nudged his hip. If he were sound asleep or disinclined, the gesture was slight enough topass unnoticed; if he were not . . .

    He wasn’t. He smiled faintly, eyes still closed, and a big hand ran slowly down my back,settling with a firm grip on my bottom.

    “Mmm?” he said. “Hmmmm.” He sighed, and relaxed back into sleep, holding on.

    I nestled close, reassured. The immediate physicality of Jamie was more than enough to banishthe touch of lingering dreams. And Frank—if that was Frank—was right, so far as that went. I

    was sure that if such a thing were possible, Bree would want both her fathers at her wedding.

    I was wide awake now, but much too comfortable to move. It was raining outside; a light rain,but the air was cold and damp enough to make the cozy nest of quilts more inviting than thedistant prospect of hot coffee. Particularly since the getting of coffee would involve a tripto the stream for water, making up the campfire—oh, God, the wood would be damp, even if thefire hadn’t gone completely out—grinding the coffee in a stone quern and brewing it, whilewet leaves blew round my ankles and drips from overhanging tree branches slithered down myneck.

    Shivering at the thought, I pulled the top quilt up over my bare shoulder and instead resumedthe mental catalogue of preparations with which I had fallen asleep.

    Food, drink . . . luckily I needn’t trouble about that. Jamie’s aunt Jocasta would deal withthe arrangements; or rather, her black butler, Ulysses, would. Wedding guests—no difficultiesthere. We were in the middle of the largest Gathering of Scottish Highlanders in the Colonies,and food and drink were being provided. Engraved invitations would not be necessary.

    Bree would have a new dress, at least; Jocasta’s gift as well. Dark blue wool—silk was bothtoo expensive and too impractical for life in the backwoods. It was a far cry from the whitesatin and orange blossom I had once envisioned her wearing to be married in—but then, this wasscarcely the marriage anyone might have imagined in the 1960s.

    I wondered what Frank might have thought of Brianna’s husband. He likely would have approved;Roger was a historian—or once had been—like Frank himself. He was intelligent and humorous, atalented musician and a gentle man, thoroughly devoted to Brianna and little Jemmy.

    Which is very admirable indeed, I thought in the direction of the mist, under the circumstances

    .

    You admit that, do you? The words formed in my inner ear as though he had spoken them, ironic,mocking both himself and me.

    Jamie frowned and tightened his grasp on my buttock, making small whuffling noises in hissleep.

You know I do, I said silently. I always did, and you know it, so just bugger off, will you?!

    I turned my back firmly on the outer air and laid my head on Jamie’s shoulder, seeking refugein the feel of the soft, crumpled linen of his shirt.

    I rather thought Jamie was less inclined than I—or perhaps Frank—to give Roger credit foraccepting Jemmy as his own. To Jamie, it was a simple matter of obligation; an honorable mancould not do otherwise. And I knew he had his doubts as to Roger’s ability to support andprotect a family in the Carolina wilderness. Roger was tall, well-built, and capable—but“bonnet, belt, and swordie” were the stuff of songs to Roger; to Jamie, they were the toolsof his trade.

    The hand on my bottom squeezed suddenly, and I started.

    “Sassenach,” Jamie said drowsily, “you’re squirming like a toadling in a wee lad’s fist.D’ye need to get up and go to the privy?”

    “Oh, you’re awake,” I said, feeling mildly foolish.

    ,” he said. The hand fell away, and he stretched, groaning. His bare feet popped out“I am now

    at the far end of the quilt, long toes spread wide.

    “Sorry. I didn’t mean to wake you.”

    “Och, dinna fash yourself,” he assured me. He cleared his throat and rubbed a hand throughthe ruddy waves of his loosened hair, blinking. “I was dreaming like a fiend; I always do whenI sleep cold.” He lifted his head and peered down across the quilt, wiggling his exposed toeswith disfavor. “Why did I not sleep wi’ my stockings on?”

    “Really? What were you dreaming about?” I asked, with a small stab of uneasiness. I ratherhoped he hadn’t been dreaming the same sort of thing I had.

    “Horses,” he said, to my immediate relief. I laughed.

    “What sort of fiendish dreams could you be having about horses?”

    “Oh, God, it was terrible.” He rubbed his eyes with both fists and shook his head, trying toclear the dream from his mind. “All to do wi’ the Irish kings. Ye ken what MacKenzie wassayin’ about it, at the fire last night?”

    “Irish ki—oh!” I remembered, and laughed again at the recollection. “Yes, I do.”

    Roger, flushed with the triumph of his new engagement, had regaled the company around thefireside the night before with songs, poems, and entertaining historical anecdotes—one ofwhich concerned the rites with which the ancient Irish kings were said to have been crowned.One of these involved the successful candidate copulating with a white mare before theassembled multitudes, presumably to prove his virility—though I thought it would be a betterproof of the gentleman’s sangfroid, myself.

    “I was in charge o’ the horse,” Jamie informed me. “And everything went wrong. The man was

    too short, and I had to find something for him to stand on. I found a rock, but I couldna liftit. Then a stool, but the leg came off in my hand. Then I tried to pile up bricks to make aplatform, but they crumbled to sand. Finally they said it was all right, they would just cutthe legs off the mare, and I was trying to stop them doing that, and the man who would be kingwas jerkin’ at his breeks and complaining that his fly buttons wouldna come loose, and thensomeone noticed that it was a black mare, and that wouldna do at all.”

    I snorted, muffling my laughter in a fold of his shirt for fear of wakening someone camped nearus.

    “Is that when you woke up?”

    “No. For some reason, I was verra much affronted at that. I said it would do, in fact the

    black was a much better horse, for everyone knows that white horses have weak een, and I saidthe offspring would be blind. And they said no, no, the black was ill luck, and I was insistingit was not, and . . .” He stopped, clearing his throat.

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